Skip to main content

Book Review: "Starting Sensory Therapy" by Bonnie Arnwine

Children with sensory needs tend to have two reactions to stimuli. Either they can't get enough of a particular form of stimuli or even the slightest form of stimuli causes them to scream on contact.

Often children with sensory issues have both reactions - and often to similar types of stimuli. For example, a child who can't stand the touch of a certain type of fabric may excessively crave the touch of a teddy bear made from a different fabric.

Sensory exercises play a critical role in helping these children adjust to stimulii and can usually reduce or even remove sensory issues.

From the outside, "Starting Sensory Therapy" looks like a textbook on the subject. It's not. The cover and title of this book are very misleading.

This book is a collection of over a hundred different activities to stimulate the senses of children with sensory difficulties.

The activities are loosely grouped by the sense they stimulate; for example there are sections on visual, auditory, smell, tactile and taste senses. The book doesn't stop at "the five senses" though and also contains chapters on gross and fine motor movement.

The activites themselves are in sub-groups, such as "tissue paper fun", "balloon fun" or "No-Cook Cooking" within each chapter and the book has a good index too. All in all, it's a very well laid out book.

Each activity starts off with a list of what you'll need and then provides a brief description of how to do it. The activities usually also include ideas on how they could be extended.

The activities are suitable for children of various ages, from babyhood right through to the very early teens and they're suitable for individuals or groups. My wife has taken a lot the ideas in this book to Joey scouts this term, so they're all very adaptable and useful - even when children don't have sensory issues.

The activities include; ice cream making, play dough making, rocket tag with torches, singing-games like "the wheels on the bus", making a bird feeder, paper mache, making shaving cream paint, playing "hamburger", marshmallow sculptures, making musical instruments and much more.

The only gripe (apart from the cover and title) that I've got with this book is that it uses some brand names. For example, there were several references to "Graham Crackers" which we don't have in Australia. I had to look them up on the internet just to figure out what type of biscuit they were. The book could probably benefit from with a glossary with pictures to explain what some of these items are.

Other than that, it's a great book which parents, teachers and community workers will get a lot of benefit from.

"Starting Sensory Therapy" by Bonnie Arnwine is available from Future Horizons and Amazon.

Honesty Clause: I was provided with a review copy of this book free of charge

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is Stimming and what does it feel like?

According to wikipedia, stimming is;

"a jargon term for a particular form of stereotypy, a repetitive body movement (often done unconsciously) that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner. It is shorthand for self-stimulation, and a stereotypy is referred to as stimming under the hypothesis that it has a function related to sensory input."

The wikipedia article then goes on to propose some theories about the function of stimming and how it is designed to provide nervous system arousal. The theory being that it helps autistic people "normalize".

I'm not sure how much I believe that theory - I helps us relax and it feels good... but normalize?? Not sure.

The most commonly cited form of stimming is body rocking. Such is the prevalence of this form of stimming in Hollywood films concerning autism that you could be forgiven for thinking that autistic people stim by rocking most of the time.

How far does stimming go?
Stimming is much more than just rock…

Why do Aspies Suddenly Back Off in Relationships (Part 2)

In part one, we looked at the role that Change Resistance plays in causing aspies to suddenly go "cold" in otherwise good relationships. This time, I want to look at self esteem and depression;
Self Esteem The aspie relationship with themselves is tedious at best. People with Asperger's commonly suffer from low self esteem. As discussed in earlier posts, this low self esteem often results from years of emotional turmoil resulting from their poor social skills.
Aspies are often their own worst enemy. They can over analyze situations and responses in an effort to capture lost nonverbal communication. This often causes them to invent problems and to imagine replies. Everything made up by aspies will tend to be tainted with their own self image.
This is one of reasons that people with Asperger's will sometimes decide that they are not good enough for their partner and that they must let them go. Sometimes, the aspie will develop a notion of chivalry or self-sacrifice a…

Aspie Myths - "He Won't Miss Me"

I apologise for the excessive "male-orientated" viewpoint in this post. I tried to keep it neutral but somehow, it just works better when explained from a male viewpoint.

Here's a phrase that I've seen repeated throughout the comments on this blog on several occasions;
"I know that he won't miss me when I'm gone because he's aspie"
Today, we're going to (try to) bust that myth;

Individuals I'll start off with a reminder that everyone is an individual. If all aspies were completely alike and predictible, they'd be a stereotype but they're not. Each is shaped by their background, their upbringing, their beliefs and their local customs.
An aspie who grew up with loud abusive parents has a reasonable chance of becoming loud and abusive themselves because in some cases, that's all they know. That's how they think adults are supposed to behave. In other cases, aspies who grew up in those circumstances do a complete about-face a…